Media release: Train station crowding

The Auditor-General for New South Wales, Margaret Crawford, has today released a report on how Transport for NSW and Sydney Trains manage crowding at selected metropolitan train stations.

The audit found that while Sydney Trains has identified platform crowding as a key strategic risk, it does not have an overarching strategy to manage crowding in the short to medium term. Sydney Trains ‘do not have sufficient oversight to know if crowding is being effectively managed’, the Auditor-General said.

Sydney Trains' operational response to crowding involves restricting customer access to platforms or station entries before crowding reaches unsafe levels or when it impacts on-time running. Assuming rail patronage increases, it is likely that Sydney Trains will restrict more customers from accessing platforms or station entries, causing customer delay. ‘Restricting customer access to platforms or station entries is not a sustainable approach to manage station crowding’, said the Auditor-General.

The Auditor-General made seven recommendations to improve Transport for NSW and Sydney Trains' management of station crowding. Transport for NSW have accepted these recommendations on behalf of the Transport cluster.

Public transport patronage has been impacted by COVID-19. This audit was conducted before these impacts occurred.

Further information

Please contact Ian Goodwin, Deputy Auditor-General on 9275 7347 or by email